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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Middle East”

The Python Problem: Reflections On The War On Terror, 17 Years Later

Following the 9/11 attacks, successive U.S. administrations have promulgated three consistent objectives: First, to prevent additional mass casualty attacks on our homeland. Second, to find and punish those responsible. And third, to shatter the larger transnational terrorist movement’s capability and capacity to be a future threat.

Read Here – War On The Rocks

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Memo to Trump: Iran Isn’t North Korea

President Donald Trump’s ALL-CAPS Twitter threat against Iran—“CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED”—feels like a cut-and-paste job from his approach to North Korea. Apply sanctions, make irresponsible suggestion of Armageddon, see what happens.

Read Here – Politico

Also Read: The Real Threat to America: Iran May Close the Strait of Hormuz

Caught In The Middle: India Between The United States And Iran

India’s need for oil and gas imports from Iran provides only a partial explanation of New Delhi’s desire to preserve good relations with that country. Iran is the third largest source of oil imports for India behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq and a significant supplier of natural gas. But India’s interest in cultivating Iran goes beyond its need for imported energy.

Read Here – The National Interest

Xi Jinping Heads To Africa To Clinch China’s Hold Over The Continent

Chinese tourists in South Africa. Pix/LBB

Chinese President Xi Jinping heads to Africa this week as Beijing moves to further cement its role as one of the continent’s closest economic and diplomatic allies. After a brief stop in the Persian Gulf Thursday, Xi’s itinerary — his first overseas trip since beginning his second term as leader — takes him to Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa and Mauritius, spanning almost every corner of Sub-Saharan Africa, where China’s economic clout, and strategic ambitions, are growing by the year.

Read Here – CNN

 

How Sanctions Feed Authoritarianism

The United States has a long history of intervening overseas to solve one problem and inadvertently creating others. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration armed rebels fighting Afghanistan’s Soviet-backed government only to find that some of them later targeted the United States…It’s worth remembering these precedents as the Trump administration prepares to reimpose sanctions on Iran as part of its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Read Here – The Atlantic

War Financing And The Decline Of Democracy

What made democracies different and more restrained in warfare, according to Kant’s theory of democratic peace, was that the costs in both blood and treasure were passed along to the public, which then imposed pressure on leaders to keep wars short and low in cost.

Read Here – War On The Rocks

Nations Are Wielding Their Sovereign Wealth Funds As Tools of Power

According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, the funds of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait have a combined $2.8 trillion in assets under management. These governments are using their national wealth as a strategic tool of power projection as never before and blurring the line between economic and political decision-making.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Mapping A World From Hell

The Costs of War Project identifies no less than 76 countries, 39% of those on the planet, as involved in that global conflict.  That means places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya where U.S. drone or other air strikes are the norm and U.S. ground troops (often Special Operations forces) have been either directly or indirectly engaged in combat.  It also means countries where U.S. advisers are training local militaries or even militias in counter-terror tactics and those with bases crucial to this expanding set of conflicts.  As the map makes clear, these categories often overlap.

Read Here – TomDispatch.com

10 Conflicts To Watch In 2018

The most ominous threats in 2018 — nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula and a spiralling confrontation pitting the United States and its allies against Iran — could both be aggravated by Trump’s actions, inactions, and idiosyncrasies. U.S. demands (in the North Korean case, denuclearisation; in Iran’s, unilateral renegotiation of the nuclear deal or Tehran’s regional retreat) are unrealistic without serious diplomatic engagement or reciprocal concessions.

Read Here – International Crisis Group

Global Arms Industry: First Rise In Arms Sales Since 2010, Says SIPRI

F-16 jet being re-fuelled mid-air. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense

Sales of arms and military services by the world’s largest arms-producing and military services companies—the SIPRI Top 100—totalled $374.8 billion in 2016. The total for the SIPRI Top 100 in 2016 is 1.9 per cent higher compared with 2015 and represents an increase of 38 per cent since 2002 (when SIPRI began reporting corporate arms sales). This is the first year of growth in SIPRI Top 100 arms sales after five consecutive years of decline.

Read Here – SIPRI

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